It may still feel like $3 a gallon — and it’s still above that price line in much of the Sunshine State — but Florida’s average cost for gasoline inched downward for a second week to $2.97 per gallon.
AAA — The Auto Club Group tracked the second consecutive decline leading into Monday’s weekly report on Florida gas prices, down 2 cents per gallon since last week and 4 cents since hitting a 2021 peak two weeks ago.
The trend may feel like relief, yet Floridians still spend an average of 3 cents more per gallon than last month, and 91 cents more than this time last year for a gallon.
And the prices won’t feel much lower in places such as Panama City or West Palm Beach, where drivers saw pump prices averaging about $3.13. Still, that’s below the national average of $3.16 per gallon.
Bottom line: international prices for crude oil remain high.
“Gas prices may not move much this week, as futures prices finished slightly above a week ago,” Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA — The Auto Club Group, said in a news release Monday. “Concerns about the delta variant significantly impacted the crude oil market last week, causing oil prices to drop 8% on Monday. However, crude rebounded by the end of the week, on the belief that the spread would not significantly impact the recovery in global fuel demand.”
Just two weeks ago, the price for domestic crude reached a new 2021 high of $75.25 per barrel. That was the highest daily average price since October 2018. However, that price quickly dipped slightly, dropping 4% by two weeks ago, to finish the week at $71.81 per barrel. The decline was in reaction to news OPEC and its allies plan to gradually return 5.8 million barrels a day of production, a partial restoration of reductions OPEC made last year in response to the coronavirus crisis and its drag on travel.
AAA reports Monday that the lowest pump prices are found in Punta Gorda, where drivers saw prices averaging just $2.85, and in Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, where prices are averaging $2.91. Prices average $2.92 in Fort Myers, and $2.98 in Miami and Naples.
Besides Panama City and West Palm Beach/Boca Raton, the highest prices in Florida show up at Tallahassee, $3.03 per gallon; Fort Lauderdale, $3.01; and Pensacola, $3.